Sometimes parents get too angry. (See last week’s tip about that.) Other times they don’t get angry enough – or at least they don’t stand firm to keep kids growing in responsibility for their own lives.
In the name of keeping the peace parents sometimes keep kids from learning to do what they’re capable of doing. This keeps the kids less responsible — and parents too responsible — for their lives. We pick up their messes, let them stay glued to the screen for hours, feed Fido when they don’t, or give them multiple chances when we’ve already given them their “last chance”. The battle to follow through just doesn’t seem worth it. (Image © Iakov Filimonov | Dreamstime.com)
Pretty soon kids figure out the kinds of conflicts you want to avoid and they start taking advantage. They learn to keep parents more responsible and themselves less. We resist getting angry because we don’t want to hurt our kids. But the Bible does not tell us to not be angry. It tells us to be angry and don’t sin.
To not follow through on consequences, or to consistently let kids get away with bending or breaking expectations — all in the name of keeping the peace — does our kids no favors. It teaches them that love is wishy-washy, unreliable, or even weak. It causes kids to be too dependent on their parents always taking care of them. It will cause them to disrespect us even more than if we get a bit too angry sometimes.
As parenting coaches, we’d much rather have a parent be too angry sometimes and then go back and apologize than to keep giving in to their child in the name of being nice. It’s only when we get too angry too often, or don’t apologize and truly reconcile, that our kids will lose respect for us because of our anger.
So be angry and sin not!